San Antonio Suburbs: China Grove, Texas

China Grove San Antonio

China Grove San Antonio is a quiet, idyllic community of only about 1,200 people. This peaceful bedroom community is located in Bexar County, on US Highway 87, and comprises only about 4.1 square miles of land. The name China Grove probably came from an amateur botanist named Warren D.C. Hall who planted his land with citrus, roses, figs, and Chinaberry trees sometime before 1840. The plantation was subsequently sold in 1843 to two business partners – one of whom was the future Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston. The Columbia Tap Railroad operated a depot out of China Grove until the early 1890s.

China Grove is located nine miles east of San Antonio and is a part of the San Antonio metropolitan area. It was settled around 1900 and has just a school, a church, and a few houses in the 1930s. Although still a residential community with little commercial development, it has experienced steady growth since the 1980s.

China Grove Living

The rural town of China Grove, Texas is a great place to call home. With an unemployment rate of 6.7%, the economic outlook is good, and the cost of living (1.1% lower than the US average) is very attractive.

April, October, and November offer some of the best weather throughout the year – perfect for going outdoors and enjoying the warmer temperatures. And with its strong Democratic leanings and 58.2% voting in favor of the previous president, the area certainly shares the same values as many others in Texas.

For those who are looking to settle down and start a family, China Grove offers quality public schools that spend an average of $8,731 per student. Plus, the steady appreciation in real estate (14.3% over the past 10 years) makes it easier to purchase a home at a reasonable price ($340,300 median cost).

As if this isn’t enough, the relatively short commute time of 23.8 minutes means more time to spend with loved ones or on leisure activities — all while benefiting from a population drop of 5.2%. All things considered, it’s no wonder so many people are beginning to take advantage of everything this charming town has to offer.

China Grove is home to many families with children. China Grove is a popular choice for families, as it is virtually crime-free.

China Grove real estate tends to be more expensive than other communities within San Antonio. China Grove has a median family income of over $70,000, which is considerably wealthier than the average income in San Antonio. China Groves’ homes for sale are usually no less than $150,000, with the median home price being $164,000.

Very few rentals can be found in China Grove.

Things to See in China Grove

China Grove Roller Mills is a remarkable piece of history, having been around since the mid-nineteenth century. It remains in pristine condition, having been lovingly maintained by its owners over the years. Historical buffs will certainly enjoy visiting and exploring this unique mill, which still operates today using some of the same techniques that were used in its heyday. Not only will you be able to marvel at the machinery, but you will also learn about the fascinating science behind milling flour. Before you head out, make sure to check their operating hours, as they are limited. A visit to China Grove Roller Mills is surely a trip back in time that all history enthusiasts should experience.

China Grove Roller Mills
China Grove Roller Mills, Inc; Image via TripAdvisor

Happy Tails Alpaca Farm offers an authentic alpaca experience for all. Guests can visit and interact with these gentle animals in a safe and welcoming environment, feed them, take photos, and explore the nearby Barntique where natural alpaca products are available for purchase. Those that fall in love with one of their alpacas have the option to adopt and become a part of the Happy Tails family. Call today to book your visit and discover why alpacas make such great companions!

Commute from San Antonio

The commute from China Grove to downtown San Antonio typically takes around 20-30 minutes by car, depending on traffic conditions.

There are several routes that can be taken from China Grove to downtown San Antonio, including:

  • Taking US-87 North: This route goes through downtown China Grove and connects with I-10, which can be taken west to downtown San Antonio.
  • Taking Loop 1604 West: This route bypasses downtown San Antonio and connects with I-35, which can be taken north to reach the downtown area.
  • Taking FM 1516 West: This route goes through the northeastern suburbs of San Antonio and connects with I-35, which can be taken south to reach the downtown area.

It is also possible to commute from China Grove to downtown San Antonio using public transportation. VIA Metropolitan Transit operates several bus routes that connect China Grove to downtown San Antonio, including Route 22 and Route 28. The travel time by bus may be longer than by car, but it can be a cost-effective and convenient option for those who do not have access to a vehicle or prefer not to drive.


China Grove public schools spend an average of $8,731 per student each year – a figure that is significantly lower than the nationwide average of $12,383. With approximately 17.4 students per teacher, this district provides a more personalized learning experience to its students than most in the region.

Elementary schools include Harmony, Highland Forest, and John Glenn Elementary, while middle schoolers can take part in programs at EC Heritage and Legacy Middle School. Those looking for a high school education in China Grove can attend East Central High School.

Known for its affordability and commitment to providing top-quality education, China Grove public schools are well worth considering for those wanting to invest in their child’s future.

School District: East Central Independent School District

Schools: Elementary schools in the ECISD include Harmony, Highland Forest, and John Glenn Elementary. Middle schools include EC Heritage and Legacy Middle School while high school means attending East Central High School.

What is China Grove Known for?

China Grove, a small town in Texas, is perhaps best known for being the namesake of the Doobie Brothers’ hit single “China Grove,” released in 1973. Tom Johnston wrote and sang the vocals on the song, which reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 List. Initially, Johnston thought he had created the song about a fictional town but soon realized it was inspired by a real place after seeing a sign for China Grove while traveling to and from San Antonio for concerts. The song has since become part of the musical landscape of this quiet Texas town and remains one of the most celebrated tracks of its era.